Outside the Home of Cyclops and Phoenix
The Juggernaut swims in the lake and awaits the arrival of Phoenix and Cyclops. He has a terrible feeling that is completely new to him. He has never been afraid of anything his whole life. He has always taken what he wanted, until now. For once in his life, the Juggernaut is afraid. The thing causing this state is the entity known as Onslaught. Cain does not know why he is afraid, only that he is. This experience is new and not a pleasant one at all.
While swimming and thinking, Cain sees a security camera. He waits until it rotates and pans the opposite direction before he approaches it from its blind side and smashes it. He doesn’t want one of Cyclops’ teammates to discover he is there and decide to fight him off without finding out why he is here. Juggernaut feels he has a legitimate reason for this visit. He knows he has a secret locked inside his head that he desperately needs access too. He believes it is a secret regarding Onslaught. He believes that when he fought Onslaught and lost he learned something that would help win should he ever encounter this foe again. He hopes someone here can help him remember before he faces Onslaught again.
Xavier Institute for Higher Learning
Bishop is attempting to repair the mutant tracking system Cerebro. He is shocked to find that he recognizes the technology used in this device from his century. He wonders what event could have happened to stunt the development of technology so badly.
Bishop feels for a wrench while still looking at Cerebro. Gambit asks you looking for this? as he hands the tool to Bishop. Bishop’s only reply is Remy? Gambit comments that this is the first time Bishop has ever referred to him by his first name. Bishop excuses the mistake by saying he was just happy about something. Remy tells him that he is probably happy that he has finally learned that he is not crazy because Sinister went into his head and turned all kinds of repressed memories loose. Bishop agrees, as he confides that Sinister seemed as surprised at those thoughts as he, himself. And that means that he is definitely not going insane.
Gambit comments that it is a little weird that the most powerful telepath on the planet could not help Bishop… Suddenly, the intruder alarm sounds. Bishop asks for a computer status report and the computer replies “Security alert Sector: Subaqua V”. Gambit asks for English and Bishop tells him that was in English. Bishop checks the sector by computer only to discover no trace of mutant activity. He believes it just debris floating around. Bishop asks Gambit if he still wants to check it out. Gambit grabs some cards in his hand and they head out the door.
The Danger Room
Cyclops engaging in an old fashioned training session hoping that it will help him unwind. He feels that the others need to train their powers against holograms, but he prefers the kind of session where you could accidentally get injured. The only kind of training session that pushes him to use his powers to the very edge of their capabilities. He does not hear the widget behind him, until it explodes, courtesy of his wife’s TK.
Phoenix suddenly appears in front of him. Still wearing the torn clothes from her shopping trip she tells him that they have to talk. Cyclops ends the program as quickly as he began it. Phoenix tells the computer to cancel the command and erects a telekinetic shield around both of them. Scott asks her why she wants to talk here, even with protection? She tells him that she saw him again. Cyclops asks “Onslaught??” Jean states that he asked her to join him. Cyclops asks her how? She explains that the whole conversation took place on the psionic plane and that with each minute that passes she recalls less and less of it.
Cyclops decides that they need to go see Professor Xavier. Phoenix screams “no” like a frightened child and Scott takes her in his arms. Jean promises that she will go to the Professor in the morning, but right now she needs some time. Scott holds her close as if they were not in the Danger Room, but home alone.
Colorado, the Rocky Mountains
Warren is on leave from the X-Men so he can tend to Psylocke. However, as he feels his techno organic wings numb his back and shoulders and soothe the pain raging in them, he begins to wonder if his wounds weren’t worse than he first thought. Warren stares at the computer screen in front of him, seeing nothing but static. Psylocke calls to him and tells him they are having a similar problem warning the Professor of the Juggernaut’s approach. He asks her if she has been able to contact the Professor telepathically. She tells him no, but feels that her exposure to the Crimson Dawn is responsible for this failing. Warren points to the screenful of static and tells her he expected to be routed to the site Cerebro Platform. He believes her problem is in some way related to his own. Psylocke’s only comment is Something’s wrong. Archangel asks her if she is up to a trip to Westchester.
Professor Xavier’s Study
Cannonball is telling Xavier that he feels like he is holding the team back. He states that he felt he made a difference with X-Force, but not here. Especially after he was unable to help Wolverine. Xavier’s cool reply is then leave. Sam can’t believe he’s actually heard the Professor tell him to go. Xavier tells Cannonball that with all the threats the team faces he just does not have time to be concerned when someone has negative feelings that are justifiable. Sam is stunned, he says, I never thought--. Professor Xavier agrees with him. The young man just wasn’t thinking. Xavier tells him that if he wants to be a radical and make noise but accomplish no goals, well, then he is free to leave. On the other hand, if he wants to make a difference, really stand for something, then he needs to get back to the job at hand. The Professor tells Sam that there should be no further need for this conversation again. Sam agrees, lowers his head, and walks sulkily from the room, leaving the Professor in front of a fire, in a wheelchair, by himself.
Outside the Mansion
Gambit and Bishop mount a water skimmer on their way to check out the intruder alarm in sub aqua sector V. Gambit tells Bishop that with all the technology, large house, and good friends they have, they should be having the time of their lives: if it weren’t the mutant haters in the world. Bishop simply tells him, there are mutant haters, so they are not having the time of their lives. Gambits only reply is “details”. Gambit asks Bishop, who is driving, if there are any readings yet. Bishop tells him that whatever is down there is definitely not a mutant. Gambit utters an exclamation; Bishop asks him what he sees. Before Gambit can reply Juggernaut leaps from the water tossing the water skimmer and knocking Bishop unconscious. Gambit introduces himself and then attacks with cards. Juggernaut tells him his name is almost as dumb as his accent as he tosses him off, skimming over the ocean. Juggernaut refers to Gambit as “Loser” then wonders aloud if its him, or if they don’t make X-Men like they used to? Juggernaut hopes the rest of the team is not as easy to dispense with as these two were. Especially since he wants help against Onslaught.
Hank is conducting an exam on the table. On the other side of the plexiglas window are Storm and Iceman. Robert asks Hank a question but Storm silences him until Hank is finished with the examination. Bobby tells Ororo of the days of their youth when Hank could concentrate on at least four things at once with no problem. Hank joins Bobby for a short reminiscence and then tells him that Storm is right. He needs his full concentration on the task at hand. The Dark Beast wonders to himself about the amazing amount of information this time line’s self had in his head. He knows he only chose to pose as the Beast to hide from Sinister. He also knows that sooner or later his lack of knowledge will give him away.
Iceman walks into the infirmary, slaps Hank on the back, and once again asks if Logan’s condition is temporary. The Beast thinks to himself that he will kill Iceman if Bobby ever does this again. Logan begs him to just give them the information. Best tells them he still does not know and needs to run more tests. Wolverine simply bursts out of the restraints and tells Hank that he has his own resources.
Storm thinks that maybe she should let him go to work things out for himself, just like she did. She also knows that as team leader, she must go after him, so she takes to the air. Her path of flight takes her right by where the unhappy Sam is hovering. She stops to ask him what is the matter. Cannonball simply tells Storm that he thinks they need to talk about the Professor.
Presidential Candidate Graydon Creed’s Rally in New Hampshire
As Creed leaves the stage, he basks in the crowd’s applause. He is well aware he is their favorite candidate. He wonders if the crowd would be just as happy if they knew his parents were the evil mutants, Sabretooth and Mystique. Creed goes to his dressing room only to finds Bastion waiting for him. Bastion calls him an idiot and tells Creed that he has a plan that is much more important than his election campaign. Bastion tells Creed to consider himself fortunate that Senator Kelly survived the assassination attempt by Creed.
Inside the Lake Home of Cyclops and Phoenix
Jean has finally arrived home. She unlocks the door and turns on the light. As she closes the door, it is her hope that the familiar surroundings will make her feel safe. She is wrong. She doesn’t remember much of her encounter with Onslaught. Only that he is a psi of the highest order and very capable of using her as a toy. She knows she should go to the Professor Xavier about this, but she can’t bring herself to do that yet. She is suddenly startled by a loud noise on the front porch. She opens to door to find Bishop and Gambit lying there. A quick mind scan puts her worst fears to rest, they scan ok.
Her puzzlement is interrupted by a familiar voice, which says, You know I could have killed them, but I didn’t. Juggernaut stands before her. He tells her that he has acted in “good faith” and he needs her to use her mind powers to help him out. However, he refers to her by her old name Marvel Girl. Phoenix is absolutely stunned. She updates him by telling him she is called Phoenix and she has definitely grown more powerful than he remembers. She locks onto him with telekinetic power and tells him that she is going to hold him in place till the others arrive. Juggernaut says “Maybe,” and then goes on to tell her that they will never know who is stronger. He is not going to resist in the slightest. He tells her he is not here to break up furniture and wreck everything. Phoenix finally realizes he is telling the truth, as she can detect no effort to struggle on his part. She finally releases her hold on him and attends to her fallen comrades asking her visitor just why he is here. He chokes out a sentence, the hardest one he will ever have to say: I am here to….help. Phoenix tells him that they were fine before he showed up. She offers to take him to the Professor anyway to let the Professor decide. Juggernaut suddenly becomes angry. In a yell he tells her that his stepbrother is the last one he wants running around in his mind. He has hated Xavier all his life. He tells her he has the secret of who Onslaught is locked away inside his hear, where he cannot reach it.
Jean is shocked further. She never thought Juggernaut would show up here, let alone for help, but now he is very angry. She asks him plainly, by his first name to calm him, why she should believe he trusts her so much. He points to his helmet and in a quiet voice he asks her if she is aware that it protects him from her power. She simply replies “yes”. Jean cannot believe what her eyes tell her. She sees Juggernaut removing his helmet, exposing himself to her telepathic abilities. She realizes he must really be serious about this.
The War Room
There is a picture of Nate Grey on the big screen in front of Xavier. He thanks Nathan for transporting his telepathic essence. He says that he could never do what he is about to do without unwitting Nate’s assistance. A chime sounds and Xavier hits a button that turns the big screen off. He presses another button to open the door. He tells Cyclops to come in. Cyclops enters and asks the Professor why his presence was requested. The Professor tells Cyclops that there are many things he has wanted for his pupil over the years. However, Cyclops has been a tremendous disappointment to him in all roles: leader, surrogate son, friend. Then he asks for Cyclops’ agreement on the issue. Cyclops does not agree, instead he asks the Professor what is wrong.
The Professor congratulates him on being calm, never letting his adversary see he is off balance. Xavier smiles as if he is extremely pleased. Xavier tells him that he needs Scott to be strong, for all of them, as fear slowly takes over his face. Scott reaches out to the Professor, only to discover he is trying to grab a holographic projection.
Scott asks the computer to patch him through to Professor Xavier no matter where he is on the grounds. The computer tells him that Xavier is in his study where he has been for the past 48 hours. The computer establishes a commlink. Scott mentally reminds himself this may have been a test, and that he should always be prepared for anything.
Even deeper below the Institute
Juggernaut and Phoenix are walking down a tunnel that looks like it has not been used for at least 50 years. Dust covers everything. Juggernaut tells Phoenix that he had a hard time swallowing his pride to ask for help, and now she is taking him on a journey to the center of the earth? She tells Juggernaut that she trusts him enough to not even tell Scott she is here. She doesn’t want to risk a telepathic message being intercepted. In return, he will just have to be patient and trust her as well. Juggernaut says he does trust her, without even knowing why. The two walk for what seems like an eternity. Finally, Phoenix calls a halt to the march. Juggernaut finds himself facing a large vault built into the side of the tunnel. The door is at least 10 times taller and wider than he is. It is clearly locked. Juggernaut finds his jaw hitting the floor. Phoenix tells him that this is a psi-shielded chamber that Onslaught has shown her in a dream. She tells Cain that this is the one place where they will both find the answer to the question who is Onslaught?